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Flu Update • Week 44 (ending Nov. 5, 2022)

Local flu activity was low but increasing. Many schools reported higher than usual absenteeism due to a range of flu-like symptoms. Read more below.

 
Published Nov. 16, 2022.

To help healthcare providers stay up to date and make testing and treatment decisions, we publish flu activity updates throughout the season. To receive flu updates by email, go to our notifications page and sign up for Health Advisories/Disease Alerts for Providers.

To determine flu activity level, we monitor emergency department and urgent care visits; hospitalizations; lab test results; and outbreaks and deaths healthcare providers report.

Recommend everyone 6 months or older (without contraindication) get flu vaccine. Give flu vaccine throughout the season until it expires. Getting flu vaccine each year is the best way to protect against flu. Vaccine helps prevent infection. It also helps prevent serious illness in vaccinated people who get the flu.

Check out this season’s testing and treatment guidelines

Pierce County

Flu activity was low but increasing. Many schools reported higher than usual absenteeism due to a range of flu-like symptoms. The highest proportion of emergency department visits and hospitalizations were children under 5 years old. Many children tested positive for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

Urgent visits

  • This week, 3.8% of visits to emergency departments/urgent cares were for influenza-like illness (ILI).*

Hospitalizations

  • This week, 2.0% of admitted patients had ILI.

Deaths⁎⁎

  • So far this season, no provider reported a death from flu.

Outbreaks

  • So far this season, no long-term care facility reported an ILI outbreak.

Lab data

  • This week, local labs reported 1,871 flu tests. 93 (5.0%) tests were positive—89 for influenza A and 4 for influenza B.

Notes

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ILI case definition is fever and cough and/or sore throat in the absence of a known cause other than flu. Interpret ILI data with caution, as the COVID-19 pandemic affected healthcare-seeking behavior and other factors associated with respiratory syndrome monitoring.

⁎⁎Meets the case definition for flu-associated death: resulting directly or indirectly from a clinically compatible illness lab-confirmed to be flu. Flu deaths are likely under reported because providers might not list flu as a cause of death, order flu tests or notify the Health Department of the death.

 Virginia Mason Franciscan Health Systems and MultiCare Labs NW reported lab data.

Washington

Flu activity was low. See Washington State Department of Health’s full report for details.

Urgent visits

  • This week, 2.9% of visits to ILI Network†† providers were for ILI, above the 1.8% baseline.

Deaths

  • So far this season, providers reported 4 deaths from flu.

Outbreaks

  • So far this season, 3 long-term care facilities reported an ILI outbreak.

Lab data

  • This week, WHO/NREVSS labs reported 8.7% of specimens tested positive for flu. Tests found both influenza A and influenza B.

Notes

††ILI Network is part of CDC ILINet outpatient ILI surveillance network. ILINet includes more than 2,600 United States outpatient healthcare providers. They report to CDC total patients seen and patients with ILI each week. Washington is in Region 10, along with Alaska, Idaho and Oregon.

World Health Organization (WHO)/National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System.

United States

Flu activity continued to increase nationwide. The southeast and south-central regions reported the highest flu activity. This week’s cumulative hospitalization rate in FluSurv-NET was higher than in week 44 of every previous flu season since 2010–2011. This increase in flu activity at the start of the holiday season underscores the importance of flu vaccination. See CDC’s full report for details.

ILI activity

  • This week, 5.5% of visits to ILINet providers were for ILI, above the 2.5% baseline.
  • This week, 16 jurisdictions reported very high ILI activity. 9 reported high activity. 6 reported moderate activity. All other jurisdictions reported low or minimal activity.

Lab data

  • This week, clinical labs reported 12.8% of specimens tested positive for flu.

Mortality surveillance

  • This week, pneumonia, flu or COVID-19 caused 9.0% of deaths, above the 6.1% epidemic threshold for week 44. COVID-19 caused most of the deaths.

Pediatric deaths

  • This week, providers reported 3 pediatric flu deaths, all from influenza A. Labs subtyped 2 of the viruses—1 was A(HaN1) pdm09 and 1 was A(H3). 
  • So far this season, providers reported 5 pediatric flu deaths—1 occurred in week 37, 1 in week 41, 2 in week 43 and 1 in week 44.

Graph of Pierce County flu data. Call (253) 649-1412 for more information.

Graph of Pierce County flu data. Call (253) 649-1412 for more information.

Graph of Pierce County flu data. Call (253) 649-1412 for more information.

Graph of Pierce County flu data. Call (253) 649-1412 for more information.

Graph of Pierce County flu data. Call (253) 649-1412 for more information.